Thursday, April 5, 2018


Tabu: The natives aren't restless...yet

"It is an enchanting piece of photography synchronized with a most pleasing musical score."-Mourdant Hall, The New York TimesMarch 19, 1931

"Murnau fused locations and the finest studio lighting to make a reinvention of reality. Tabu and Sunrise are both masterworks. We are lucky that both of them survive."-David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film

As any good film student knows, The two major films in the CV of German director F. W. Murnau are the horror film Nosferatu (1922) and the tragic drama The Last Laugh (1924). Murnau's Tabu was not one I was even aware of until it popped up in an updated 1001 book edition. This story of love, island rituals and the abuse of power in the South Seas is pretty interesting in its on right. Murnau made the film with Nanook of the North's Joseph Flaherty and it's a little hard to tell at times during the island scenes with the natives whether we are watching a documentary or a work of fiction..But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The story is intriguing and the look of the film is distinctive. Looks like one more for the Murnau CV.-C. Cox, 1001: A Film Odyssey

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